“Through our partnership with CBS Sports Network, the WNBA is joining an elite lineup of premium sports programming,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release on Monday, according to the television broadcasting company. “We thank CBS Sports for making such a meaningful commitment to women’s basketball and for providing another platform to showcase the world-class athletes of the WNBA.”
Forty games per season will be aired during primetime and on weekends. The first televised WNBA on CBS Sports will be the Minnesota Lynx versus the Chicago Sky on May 25.
“We are truly excited to partner with the WNBA, bringing the country’s premier women’s sports league to CBS Sports Network. This partnership is one of the biggest and most impactful women’s sports programming arrangements ever at CBS Sports, offering national exposure of 40 games per year,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus also said in the statement. “This agreement provides great live content throughout the summer in prime time and on weekends, and aligns two great brands in the WNBA and CBS Sports. We look forward to working with the WNBA for many years to come.”
According to ESPN, the WNBA already had a deal with the television sports channel to show 16 regular-season games. In 2018, average viewership for the games rose 31 percent. The CBS airtime deal will double national TV exposure for the women’s professional basketball league.